I continue to be amazed at how God is using our Celebrate Recovery ministry to impact the lives of people in our community and in our congregation.
Recently, Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Community Church, where Celebrate Recovery began, wrote an article describing the features that make CR uniquely impactful. I have posted the article below for you to read. If, after reading, you want to know more about Celebrate Recovery, please join us for our CR Newcomer’s Class that meets every Friday night at our building. You can find info about our times and location here.
I believe the success of Celebrate Recovery has a lot to do with the fact that it’s grounded in a Christlike approach to ministering to the broken. Here are seven features that make it uniquely impactful.
1. Celebrate Recovery is based on God’s Word.
When Jesus taught the Sermon on the Mount, he began by stating “Eight Ways to Be Happy.” Today we call them the Beatitudes.
From a conventional viewpoint, his statements didn’t make a lot of sense. They sounded like contradictions. But once you fully understand what Jesus was saying, you realize these eight principles are God’s road to recovery, wholeness, growth, and spiritual maturity.
2. Celebrate Recovery is forward-looking.
Rather than wallowing in the past, or dredging up and rehearsing painful memories over and over, Celebrate Recovery focuses on the future. Regardless of what has already happened, the solution is to start making wise choices now and depend on Christ’s power to help you make those changes.
3. Celebrate Recovery emphasizes personal responsibility.
Instead of playing the “accuse and excuse” game of victimization, Celebrate Recovery helps people face up to their own poor choices and deal with what they can do something about. We cannot control all that happens to us, but we can control our responses. That is a secret of happiness!
When we stop wasting time fixing blame, we have more energy to fix the problem. When we stop hiding our own faults and stop hurling accusations at others, then the healing power of Christ can begin working in our minds, wills, and emotions.
4. Celebrate Recovery emphasizes spiritual commitment to Jesus Christ.
The third “step” of CR calls for people to make a total surrender of their lives to Christ. Lasting recovery cannot happen without this step. Everybody needs Jesus.
Today, nearly 75 percent of the people who’ve been through Celebrate Recovery have come from outside our church. Changed lives always attract others who want to be changed.
5. Celebrate Recovery is built on the biblical principles of real community.
It is fellowship-focused, not individual-focused. We grow and get better together. It’s built around small group interaction and the support of a caring community.
There are many therapies, counseling, and growth programs today that are built around one-on-one interaction. But we don’t get well by ourselves. We need each other. Fellowship and accountability are two important components of spiritual growth.
6. Celebrate Recovery addresses all types of habits, hurts, and hang-ups.
Some recovery programs deal only with alcohol or drugs or another single problem. But Celebrate Recovery is a “large umbrella” program under which a limitless number of issues can be addressed. We have dozens of other specialized groups. For instance, we have groups for eating disorders, smoking addiction, sexual addictions, physical abuse, a veterans group for those dealing with post-traumatic stress, and all sorts of relational problems.
7. Celebrate Recovery moves members into ministry.
Because Celebrate Recovery is church-based, it produces a continuous stream of people moving into ministry after they’ve found recovery in Christ. This is because the final step of recovery is to help others. You’re not recovered until you’ve stopped focusing on yourself and moved into Christlike servanthood.